Half of U.S. Views Online Video Ads

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Digital analytics firm comScore unveiled its August Web video rankings recently which show that, among other things, Americans watch a lot of videos on the Internet.

Without question, most videos that are viewed online are watched on YouTube; in fact, the Google-owned video streaming site racked up a total of 162 million unique visitors in the month of August. VEVO came in second with 62 million viewers and Facebook, believe it or not, was the third most popular video site on the Internet with 51.6 million people watching videos. Following the social network were Viacom Digital (fourth), Microsoft (fifth), Yahoo (sixth) and AOL (seventh), though on the whole, unique video watchers were on the rise across the board.

In fact, the total number of viewing sessions in August reached an all-time high as there were 6.9 billion sessions recorded during the month. YouTube and Google Sites hosted just over half of them.

What's more, approximately 85.8 percent of the U.S. "Internet audience" watched videos online in August, and the average Web video watcher took in approximately 18 hours of content. YouTube led the race, with an average of 5.7 hours of engagement per user, while Hulu came in second with an average of 3.2 hours.

And while that data is all well and good, it's not exactly useful to Web businesses or Internet marketers, at least until one considers the role that advertising plays in all of that video watching.

comScore calculates that there were over 5.6 billion video ads watched by Americans in just one month (to put it in perspective, the world's total population is just under 7 billion people). Statistically, this means that half of the population of the U.S. were exposed to video advertising an average of 37.6 times, and the total time spent watching video advertisements adds up to over 2.5 billion minutes. Remember, this is all in a single month.

Video ads made up about 13.4 percent of all videos viewed in August and account for about 1.3 percent of the minutes spent watching online videos.

Of course, what this ultimately means is that online video advertisers can reach a whole lot of people.

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